What do you really want?

Have you heard the joke: How many psychologists does it take to change a light bulb? Just one, but the bulb has to want to be changed!

Yeah, it’s a corny joke, but it has within it a kernel of truth. For people to change, they have to want to be changed. And in spite of all the talking we do about the topic, change isn’t something many people want on a personal level.

It’s kind of like the story of when Thomas Edison invented a vote-recording machine for use in legislative chambers. By moving a switch to the right or left, an official could vote for or against a proposal without leaving his desk. The machine would replace the tedious business of marking ballots, counting them, etc.

Excited about the prospects, Edison obtained a patent — his first one — and then headed for Washington. There, he eagerly demonstrated his machine to the Chairman of Congressional Committees. This gentleman, while complementing Edison on his ingenuity, promptly turned down the use of the machine.

“Filibustering and the delay in the tabulation of votes are often the only means we have for defeating bad or improper legislation,” claimed the Chairman.

While we often may want our circumstances to be different, we very often don’t want to have to change ourselves and how we live. We don’t consider that the same thinking, the same ideas, the same behaviors that have caused us trouble will continue to do so unless we change our thinking and our behavior.

For our lives to change we have to change more than our circumstances, we have to be willing to change ourselves.

Are you trying to wade through negative circumstances with the same mindset that got you there? Or are you willing to make real change so that your life can be different?